KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has pledged to give its full cooperation to any changes made to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), as reports emerged of plans to restructure the unit for cost-cutting purposes.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, when asked to comment on Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador’s restructuring plans, said they were on board so long as it continues to be effective.
“We welcome whatever changes, whether it is for cost cutting or not, but what is important is the effectiveness of Esscom at the state level.
“I am aware that changes (needed) to be made, and we will give our cooperation.
“Whatever structure the federal government decides to execute at the state level, we will give our full support where necessary, as security is important,” he told reporters after chairing the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) supreme council meeting Sunday (June 2).
A news portal had, on Sunday, quoted sources as saying Putrajaya would retain Esscom, the integrated command centre covering Sabah’s east coast waters where kidnappings and cross border crimes have occurred, as Hamid previously said he wanted to update strategies and restructure Esscom to improve law and order.
Meanwhile, Shafie, who is Warisan president, said the supreme council discussed the membership expansion of Warisan as a move to strengthen the party.
To date, there are more than 200,000 members including new ones, whose membership cards will be issued soon after Hari Raya celebrations.
“Membership is not just about numbers but to get those who will carry out the party’s struggles; those who came in with sincerity and not simply for the sake of joining the party,” he added.
On approved branches, he said there are more than 3,000 branches from 26 divisions but out of that number, about 600 had been so far approved.
“We are waiting for the green light from the Registrar of Societies not only in terms of number of branches but membership; all this while they have been applying, but there has been a deadlock.
"However, we expect things to be smoother moving forward,” said Shafie.
On the issue of PKR questioning DAP on allowing a non-Sabahan to be nominated assemblyman, referring to Loh Ee Eng, who hails from Pulau Pinang, Shafie said this was done on the basis of party request.
“If the party suggests a member to be appointed, it is a party request, not an individual request.
“The members could have been residing (in Sabah) for a long time, they are still party members and have been here working with us.
"The allocation is for the party, PKR has its own quota and Sabah DAP did not question it,” said Shafie.
He was responding to former Sabah PKR executive secretary A Rashid Yusof’s statement that Sabah DAP should have provided names of people who were from the state and could voice Sabah’s interests to be appointed assemblyman instead.